People with learning disabilities stuck in institutions as Government programme continues to fail

NHS England has today (15 August 2014) published its third set of quarterly data*, looking at the number of people with a learning disability in inpatient settings in England.

This was prompted by the Winterbourne View Concordat, aimed at ensuring better care for people with a learning disability and behaviour that challenges.

 The data reveals that:


  • More people are being admitted into assessment and treatment units than are moving out; between 31 March and 30 June, 358 people have been admitted into assessment and treatments units and only 261 have come out
  • 78% (2,024) of patients still do not have a transfer date
  • Of the 577 people who do have a transfer date, 38% have a local council that is not aware they need to be transferred back into the local area
  • 50% (1,296) of patients have a local council that is not aware they need to be transferred back into the local area
  • 6% (147) of people in assessment and treatment units are children


Jan Tregelles, chief executive at Mencap, and Vivien Cooper, chief executive at The Challenging Behaviour Foundation, said:

“Today’s announcement by NHS England shows that people with a learning disability are systematically being let down.

Despite constant promises to move people with a learning disability out of units like Winterbourne View, appallingly, more people are going in to these units than are coming out. What’s more, this frightening trend looks set to continue as 78% of people still don’t have a transfer date.

Serious concerns remain even for people with a proposed transfer date, for almost 40%  of these people  their local authorities  are unaware of their planned return. We know people with a learning disability need  joined up local health and social care support. When this is not in place  people are more likely to  end up right back in the very units they are being moved from.

Every day that progress is delayed is another day where vulnerable children and adults remain in units where they are at increased risk of abuse and are often far away from their families and friends.

We want to see the urgent progress in the development of long-term and sustainable care in local communities, to make sure people get the right support, in the right place, at the right time. Further delays in this programme are simply unacceptable.




For more information, please contact Lisa Gilbert, PR Officer at Mencap, on 020 7696 6950



Notes to editors

About The Challenging Behaviour Foundation

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation (CBF) is an independent charity providing information, support and workshops around challenging behaviour associated with severe learning disabilities to families and professionals. The CBF leads the ‘Challenging Behaviour National Strategy Group’ which seeks to influence policy and practice nationally and has developed the Challenging Behaviour Charter.

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation was founded in 1997 by Vivien Cooper, parent of a son with severe learning disabilities who displays behaviour described as challenging. Today the Challenging Behaviour Foundation is in regular contact with over 5000 families and professionals across the UK. There are an estimated 30,000 individuals in England with severe learning disabilities and behaviour described as challenging.


About Royal Mencap Society

There are 1.4 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Independent charity Mencap works to support people with a learning disability, their families and carers by fighting to change laws, improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities. Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want.


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